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Rest of the Best: 10 Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Houston

Who knew vegan food could taste so good? Check this dish out at our No. 2 pick!
Who knew vegan food could taste so good? Check this dish out at our No. 2 pick!
Photo courtesy Radical Eats

Our 2013 Best of Houston® winners have been announced, but in many cases, picking the best item in any category was no easy task. In order to show off all the culinary greatness Houston has to offer, we're rounding up the "rest of the best" in some of our favorite categories during the next several months. Bon appétit!

When many people hear the word "vegan," their minds immediately rush to all the things that are not a part of a vegan diet, all the things a vegan can't eat. It's all about the negative--the lack of meat, the dearth of dairy, the absence of eggs.

If you're one of those people (just admit it) who turns his or her nose up at veganism as a fad or an unpleasantly restrictive diet, I encourage you to look at it from another perspective: Think of all the things a vegan can eat.

In a recent post about his own dabbles in veganism for Lent, Nicholas Hall wrote:

"When I dabble in faceless food, I always prefer to approach it from a different angle. While there are certainly challenges in moving from an omnivorous diet to a vegan one, I see those challenges as something to embrace. I see it as an opportunity to try new ingredients, ideas, and techniques."

So, thankfully, do all these restaurants. They may not all be completely vegan, but they all embrace the lifestyle and keep "faceless food" as interesting and delicious as possible.

Most of the food at San San is vegan, but make sure you ask.
Most of the food at San San is vegan, but make sure you ask.
Photo by Mai Pham

10. San San Tofu San San isn't a dedicated vegan restaurant--it's vegetarian--but the vegan options are just as good as the veggie ones. The cooks were trained by a Buddhist monk to approximate the healthy vegetarian fare of the sort one might be served in a Vietnamese Buddhist temple. I've eaten at a Buddhist temple in Korea, and I must say, San San does a great job of re-creating that simple, healthful vibe while making remarkably flavorful food. Because it's not solely vegan, be sure to inquire about the mock meat, as some of it may contain eggs or dairy.

Vegan sushi at Loving Hut, brought to you by a Taiwanese cult. Maybe.
Vegan sushi at Loving Hut, brought to you by a Taiwanese cult. Maybe.
Photo by Troy Fields

9. Loving Hut This grub is 100 percent vegan but only about 80 percent Asian, as the Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese menu is punctuated with a few mock burgers, some spaghetti and some surprisingly good cakes. Yes, as Katharine Shilcutt pointed out in her review of the place, it is an international fast food chain run by a cult, but the food is solid, if a little predictable. It's all shipped from the factory in Taiwan, and you can buy pre-made, frozen vegan food at the restaurant if you, too, want to "live in peace, love and harmony."

This story continues on the next page.



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